On the Campaign Trails

Either in conjunction with official visits or during trips specifically related to their campaigns, each of the announced candidates for UNSG has begun seeking formal support from the world’s governments.

Most recently, Ban Ki Moon visited six European states, four of which – Russia, Denmark, Greece and Slovakia – are Security Council members. He previously met with the U.S. Secretary of State in January and reportedly wowed Parisian audiences with his command of the French language in early February.

Jayantha Dhanapala has just completed a visit to the United States during which he promised to “push ahead with reforms to the world organization” if chosen and “to address the scandals that have weakened the United Nations’ credibility” – an approach that speaks clearly to the present U.S. government’s view of the world body. Last month, he visited France and Austria, highlighting his background in disarmament issues relative to the present impasse with Iran. Earlier in the month, he sought the support of Qatar, itself a Security Council member.

Thai candidate Dr. Surakiart met with parliamentarians and administration officials in London, Paris and Washington in February. In Washington, he also consulted with ambassadors from the Gulf Cooperation Council and ASEAN member governments on his campaign strategy. In late January, he met with Ministers of various African governments during the 8th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union, pledging support for continued strong Asian-African partnerships.

In the unannounced camp, Nirj Deva was in Washington and New York at the end of March. During his visit, he had a meeting with Under-Secretary of State Paula J. Dobriansky and the Director of the Office of UN Political Affairs, Robin Meyer, as well as several Members of Congress on his possible candidacy. Later, Mr. Deva chatted with U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, China’s Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya, and the EU Ambassador to the UN Fernando Valenzuela.

Lastly, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Abdelelah al Khatib may be testing the waters on behalf of Prince Zeid. Today, he was in Moscow short on the heels of Ban, seeking support for his country’s unannounced candidate. Zeid has reportedly already impressed the U.S. Ambassador.

One Response to “On the Campaign Trails”

  1. […] To explore the question and answer it, consider Ban Ki-moon’s candidacy. We consider him the frontrunner. Sathirathai is stalled by domestic political issues. And Dhanapala was recently in the US, but it was on the tails of Nirj Deva his fellow Sri Lankan. See UNSG’s comprehensive summary of travel, as ours is scattered throughout too many posts. […]

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